Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $128.00 price objective on the closed-end fund’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, provides investment management products and services to individuals and institutions in the United States. . It operates a multi-manager asset management business, comprising a number of individual affiliated managers, each with a distinct investment style, autonomous investment process and individual brand. Investors have an array of needs and Virtus Investment Partners offers a variety of investment styles and multiple disciplines to meet those needs. The Company provides its products in a number of forms and through multiple distribution channels. Its retail products include open-end mutual funds, closed-end funds and separately managed accounts. The Company manages institutional accounts for corporations, multi-employer retirement funds and foundations, endowments, special purpose funds and other types of institutions. “

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on VRTS. Bank of America increased their price target on Virtus Investment Partners from $119.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday. BidaskClub upgraded Virtus Investment Partners from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. ValuEngine upgraded Virtus Investment Partners from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, February 27th. Barclays increased their price target on Virtus Investment Partners from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $92.00 price target on Virtus Investment Partners and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, February 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $107.83.

Shares of VRTS stock opened at $118.96 on Friday. Virtus Investment Partners has a 1 year low of $70.00 and a 1 year high of $138.02. The company has a current ratio of 16.69, a quick ratio of 16.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The company has a market cap of $804.69 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.70, a P/E/G ratio of 3.49 and a beta of 1.52.

Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 1st. The closed-end fund reported $3.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.06. Virtus Investment Partners had a return on equity of 19.83% and a net margin of 13.68%. The business had revenue of $138.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $143.54 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.60 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Virtus Investment Partners will post 10.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 30th will be issued a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 29th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.85%. Virtus Investment Partners’s payout ratio is 17.94%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of VRTS. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Virtus Investment Partners in the fourth quarter worth approximately $28,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in Virtus Investment Partners by 67.4% in the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 370 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $29,000 after purchasing an additional 149 shares in the last quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC grew its stake in Virtus Investment Partners by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 992 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $79,000 after purchasing an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Virtus Investment Partners by 29.3% in the fourth quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,272 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 288 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its stake in Virtus Investment Partners by 358.0% in the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 2,313 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $184,000 after purchasing an additional 1,808 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.10% of the company’s stock.

About Virtus Investment Partners

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to individual and institutional clients. It launches separate client focused equity and fixed income portfolios. The firm launches equity, fixed income, and balanced mutual funds for its clients.

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